ONTARIO - Jessica Pulido remembers being frightened,but knew she had to keep from crying in order to keep her little brother, Andrew, calm.

The two small children looked around the small dark room for a way to escape but couldn't find one. Then, after hours and the desperation of being able to hear their family members outside but being too small to make enough noise for anyone to notice, the siblings heard a knock at the door.

After some pushing on the rusty door, the then-4 and 3-year-olds were pulled from the abandoned laundry room by a a group of young teens.

"I remember she showed me her badge because I didn't believe she was really the police," recalled Jessica Pulido, now 22 and married.

Her rescuers, who she believed were police officers, were actually members of the Ontario Police Department's Explorer group.

Explorers are made up of teen volunteers who many times want to go into law enforcement. They are taught various skills and assist police in various operations, including checkpoints and crime sweeps.

On Saturday, Explorer Post 350 celebrated 40 years of existence, and Jessica Pulido and her brother, who's now 21, decided it was time they expressed their gratitude to those who helped find them.

The siblings were surprise guests at the Explorer Post's anniversary celebration.

Nearly two decades ago, on Aug. 4, 1994, Jessica Pulido was a curious 4-year-old living in Ontario. That day she and her brother, Andrew, who was 3, were playing in the front yard when Jessica said she and her brother spotted a little friend.

"I followed her as long as I could but then lost sight of her," she said.

Looking back she saw Andrew had also followed her and had become tired.

"I found a little shack, I think it was an old laundry room and I took him in there. I took off his shoes and we fell asleep," she said.

When they woke up, they tried to push the door open but it wouldn't budge, she said. She could hear frantic family member outside the small building calling out their names, but when they called back, the searchers couldn't hear them.

After what she recalls being a very long time, she heard a knock at the door. It was a group of Explorers who had been deployed to help look for the missing siblings.

"It made a real impression on me," she said. "My mom said after this instead of asking for dolls I wanted a badge, a gun and handcuffs."

Jessica now lives in Bloomington and both she and her husband have completed courses in administration of justice. They both hope to soon enter law enforcement.